In this quote, Cecil is Lucy’s fiance and Miss Bartlett is a cousin. I think it speaks well to the cloud that can sometimes descend on families at mealtime–not my family, of course!
“Lunch was a cheerful meal. Generally Lucy was depressed at meals. Someone had to be soothed–either Cecil or Miss Bartlett or a Being not visible to the mortal eye–a Being who whispered to her soul: ‘This will not last, this cheerfulness…'”
-E.M. Forster, from A Room With a View
“Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, ‘What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?’ Instead they demand, ‘How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much does his father make?’…They are like that. One must not hold it against them. Children should always show great forbearance towards grown-up people.”
-Antoine de Saint Exupery, from his classic book The Little Prince
“I want to thank my children for their miraculous selves and for saving my wife and me from lives of terminal self-involvement.”
-Bradley Whitford, in 2001, in his Emmy acceptance speech for the role of Josh Lyman in The West Wing